Thursday, January 17, 2019

9mm AR Project; The Space Blaster

Well this gun is over 2 years old now and been through many changes so let's just do a pic dump detailing its history so far.


PCC USPSA, Steel Challenge, competitive shooting
Parts were in place in the summer of 2016; a complete PSA 10.5" upper and a Runner Runner lower (NFA variant).
runner runner guns lower receiver
Assembled with an old Primary Arms red dot which has since been retired.
This set-up worked fine but PSA equipped it with a 12" hand guard and a muzzle device that was something like 3" long, lengthening my 10.5" gun by more than I was happy with. But, I ran it this way, with a standard 5.5oz 9mm buffer for a pretty long time.

This was the earliest issue that took me down the rabbit hole of "fixing" the shortcomings of a 5.5oz buffer - a prematurely worn disconnector which is bad news for anyone who knows.

A complete ALG QMS trigger group replaced the original. It came with a nice sharp disconnector and that issue was solved. It also lead to a 7oz buffer.
Before anyone asks this gun is over 26" so YES, the forward grip is legal. However, I wasn't happy with that either. I began to play with my own home brew spring setup which lead to a rifle buffer tube to provide much more space inside for customization. It also got the space blaster paint job. The comp, a cheap ebay unit, caused a loss of accuracy and quickly went back to where it came from - China. The 12" hand guard went into the parts box and a new 10" STNGR replaced it. It was now the length it was always meant to be.
The garbage comp gone and now replaced with a simple thread protector. A Tyrant handstop, while expensive, looked like the perfect match for the overall appearance of the space blaster. I'm not a fan of all the aluminum "interface" parts that the market is full of. They are sharp, cold and mostly uncomfortable. The Tyrant is no different but not terrible. Don't ask me why I got a gray one - it was probably all that was in stock and I thought I'd paint it or something that never happened.

The moment Odin Works released the mag release for this pattern lower I had one on order. The mag release that comes on these lowers is a hokey plastic unit that only kinda works from what I hear. Mine was pretty good functionally but too cheesy to look at. I like the Odin for a variety of reasons but I actually don't love the extended nature of it. It may seem picky but it changes the mag release process enough that it's not as natural as a typical AR. It's difficult to describe but in the process of a mag change on an AR I have to press the mag release hard enough that my pointer finger is actually doing some work to control the gun as my left hand does its chores. This one changes that slightly.
zev technologies, gearhead works tailhook brace, glock mags, PCC, 10.5" barrel
In its current configuration, now with a tailhook brace and Burris FastFire 3 with a 3MOA dot in a very simple and well designed UTG mount. This mount allows the sight to be directly attached to the mount, eliminating several adapters in the process. This is my second FF3 and they are excellent. It is a great match for the purposes of this gun. Anyone familiar with Borderlands will recognize the DAHL logo which wraps up the space blaster theme. It's got a Taccom buffer system in it right now which works just fine for me. A Zev base pad gets me through higher round count stages with 36 rounds on board, though it wouldn't likely be enough in the crazy high round count hoser stages at major matches. In my view this is just another example of how USPSA is broken (not that I can run this gun in a major match anyway).
This gun, with a standard milspec trigger, has taken me to 94.22% Master class in USPSA Steel Challenge. Its looks reflect my personality, always gets a lot of questions, and is a blast to shoot. For me it's far more important to shoot guns that I enjoy than guns specifically built for competitive shooting and for that reason, combined with good performances, this gun is without a doubt one of my favorites. When I say that I think USPSA is broken this is exactly what I mean. You will always have people looking to simply win, regardless if it's driving a car or driving a gun, the tool doesn't matter to them. But USPSA doesn't reflect the practicality that is found in the name, nor the trends within the gun community at large well at all. PCC being purely Open is just another one in a long list of misses in judgements made in the USPSA rule books.

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